Driving to the Chickamauga Battlefield National Park feels like a return as much as it does a pilgrimage. My great-great-grandfather on my daddy's side wore the Confederate gray here. Eventually, he chased General Sherman's troops all the way to Savannah before he took an artillery ball in the leg, got captured, and was released at the war's conclusion to walk home from North Carolina back to middle Georgia.
|Monument to Wilder's Brigade|
"Half-gone. We are all half gone. It aches to see that, so clear and unavoidable, the promise of eventual extinction burning as bright as the rippling sunlight on the water. And what came of this crucible I'm standing in, this battlefield, this bloody beautiful cauldron? The United States, of course. The Battle of Antietam ended in a draw, but the war marched on to its conclusion. We stand now on that conclusion. It is living land, and changes beneath our feet, but a hundred and fifty years later, it's still supporting us, for better or worse."
|View at 85 feet, from the top of Wilder's Brigade monument|
Tina Whittle writes the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver mysteries. The sixth book in this Atlanta-based series—Necessary Ends—is available now. Tina is a proud member of Sisters in Crime and has served as both a chapter officer and national board member. Visit her website to follow her on social media, sign up for her newsletter, or read additional scenes and short stories: www.tinawhittle.com.